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MIT Police Headquarters Moving to W89

By Beckett W. Sterner

The MIT Police will move to a new headquarters in Building W89, located west of Simmons Hall, in Jan. 2006.

The move, originally scheduled for November, was delayed because Cambridge officials decided that it was necessary to add an elevator for handicapped accessibility.

Building W89 is in a far less central location on campus than the current headquarters in W31, the Du Pont Athletic Gymnasium, but will provide more space, said Police Chief John DiFava. W89 currently houses the MIT Professional Learning Center.

In the long term, moving to W89 will put the headquarters in the center of most student housing on campus, as MIT builds new housing near Simmons Hall, DiFava said.

To maintain easy accessibility to campus, especially for events registration, the MIT Police will soon open an office in the basement of the Student Center, DiFava said. In addition, the new headquarters will be put on a SafeRide route. The police already have another branch office in the basement of the Stata Center.

Du Pont office too cramped

W89 will be “more than adequate for our current needs as well as future growth,” DiFava said.

The current location in Du Pont, though, “is very, very old,” he said, and “very confining” for 61 people, he said.

The total renovations will cost a little above $2 million, he said, including costs for new furniture, moving, and the elevator.

A “comprehensive rehab” of W89 is underway, he said, which will allow the police offices to be located on the first floor, instead of up a staircase near the entrance as in Du Pont. The building will also have a campus-wide emergency operations center that can serve as a common working place for multiple offices dealing with emergencies.